Distinguishing Silk From Polyester

As people’s desire for silk has grown, manufacturers have created synthetic fabrics to mimic the look and feel of silk. People are usually tricked into buying fake silk when satin is disguised as silk. It is often misleadingly labelled as “silky satin” - but it’s not silk at all.

Silk is a fabric naturally produced by silkworms. Satin, on the other hand, is a type of weave, it can be composed of polyester, nylon and sometimes contain silk extracts. It can be difficult to identify whether the “silk” fabric is real or man-made, so here are some tips that can help you to work out the genuine silk!

Simply hold the fabric to the light. The triangular prism-like structure of silk fibers reflects light at multiple angles. This gives the fabric a multicolored sheen, the colour should change slightly depending on how you’re holding it. While artificial satin fabric tends to have a flat white sheen regardless of the angles.

Tactile Sensation
Run your hand across the fabric. Natural silk is always soft to the touch, and the entire cloth should drape naturally. Satin does not feel anything like this, it is slippery but isn’t necessarily soft, and will be stiffer when you try to tie it around your neck or shoulders. There is another great way to tell the difference is to rub the fabric in between your fingers. Real silk heats up and becomes warm, whereas satin leaves you a cold sensation.

Ring Test
Take any jewellery ring and pull the fabric all the way through the ring. Silk is more flexible and should smoothly glide through the ring, while satin is likely to get caught and bunch up.

Burn Test
The final test is used if you want to be truly sure. Pull out a few threads from the fabric and light them up. Real silk will smell like burnt hair and stop burning once the flame is taken away. It also produces a bunch of ashes. Satin will smell more like plastic and continue to melt even if the flame is removed.

Now that you’re an expert, you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting a fake right away. However, you’ll never need to use these skills when ordering here, at Dogily. You can trust that you’re investing in pieces that are made with 100% genuine fine quality silk.

Check out our Silk Collection / Read more on Silk Care